Driving in Europe after Brexit
Negotiations on the final terms of the Brexit deal are ongoing, and regardless of a deal or no-deal Brexit, impacts are likely to continue past the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.
Driving licences after Brexit
Until the end of 2020, drivers with a UK driving licence can still drive in Europe, but if a deal with the EU is not reached, this may change from 1 January 2021. After this point, you may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit (IDP).
An IDP is an official, multi-language translation of your driving licence and costs £5.50.
You can check if you need an IDP by going to www.gov.uk/driving-abroad
Which IDP will I need?
There are 3 types of IDPs and which one you'll need depends on which EU country you're visiting. You'll need to check which IDP applies to the country you're travelling to. Please note that you may need all types of IDP if travelling to multiple countries.
The government is seeking to put in place new arrangements with EU countries to recognise UK driving licences to avoid the need for IDP. Each EU country will decide independently if they need a visiting foreign driver to have an IDP to legally drive in their country. As these negotiations are ongoing we advise checking the gov.uk website prior to your trip to get the most up to date information on the country that you're visiting.
You can get an IDP by visiting most Post Offices. Take your current driving licence (just the pink card), a passport photo (one per permit), and the list of countries you intend to visit. In most cases, you should be able to walk away with your IDP(s) in your hand. For your nearest participating Post Office, you can check the Post Office website.
Vehicle insurance and Green Cards from 1 January 2021
Currently, if you drive a car, motorhome or campervan within the EU*, the EEA**, Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland, your regular UK Insurance Certificate is all you need. If you are travelling outside these countries, you need extra proof of insurance, which comes in the form of a Green Card – a physical document evidencing that you have the necessary third-party insurance cover in force for driving – which an insurer or insurance broker can provide.
From 1 January 2021, there is a possibility that this will change, depending on the form of any final Brexit deal:
- If the UK leaves the EU with a no deal Brexit, you will need a Green Card if you are driving anywhere in Europe. This includes travelling across the Northern Ireland / Republic of Ireland border.
- If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, you may still need a Green Card.
For the latest information on this subject, we strongly recommend you read the Brexit FAQ section on the Association of British Insurers website.
Until we know the exact nature of what will happen at the end of the transition period, we recommend that if you are planning to travel anywhere in Europe and you'll be away on or after 1 January 2021, the safest option is to get a Green Card.
Getting a Green Card for your car, motorhome, caravan or trailer
Separate Green Cards are now required for cars, motorhomes and anything towed by a motorised vehicle, including caravans, trailers and trailer tents/folding campers.
A Green Card for a car or motorhome needs to have Category A (“Car”) ticked; a Green Card for a caravan, trailer or trailer tent/folding camper needs to have Category F (“Trailer”) ticked.
The Club cannot provide Green Cards directly, as we are not regulated insurers, however if you have Motorhome Insurance or Car Insurance with the Club, Green Cards are issued by our partner brokers, Devitt Insurance Ltd. You can call Devitt on 0345 300 4290.
If you have Caravan Cover with the Club AND Car insurance with the Club, once again, you can call Devitt, who will issue Green Cards for both the car and the caravan or other towed vehicle.
If you have Caravan Cover with the Club, but your car insurance is arranged through another insurance company, you will need to speak to your car insurance provider and ask them to provide Green Cards for both vehicles.
Please note that Devitt will charge an administration fee for a Green Card, but it will be the same whether it’s one card or two.
GB stickers after Brexit
Following the UK's exit from the EU, the government recommends that you display a GB sticker on the rear of your vehicle, irrespective of whether you currently have a number plate which includes the GB identifier.
What else do I need to take?
All the usual rules will still apply when you're planning to travel to Europe. Take a look at our helpful tips about European driving regulations, documentation and insurance and other European driving tips.
* EU Countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
** EEA Countries: All EU countries PLUS Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.